EUREKA – Community members concerned with the effectiveness of our current healthcare system came together Tuesday to rally outside of the Humboldt County Courthouse.
They were in support of the Healthy California Act, which would incite universal, single payer healthcare.
“I’m a registered nurse I have watched people die for forty years because they don’t have healthcare access. They wait until it’s too late,” said RN, Kathryn Donahue, “There’s no preventative care. People need preventative care. This will cover all of that.”
Members of the North Coast People’s Alliance and the California Nurses Association organized the rally and explained why it’s important to them.
“We need to fix our broken healthcare system,” explained retired nurse, Peggy Darm, “California can lead the way and lead the United States into universal healthcare.”
The Healthy California Act aims to guarantee healthcare for all Californians as a human right – essentially replacing health insurance companies with a public, universal plan.
There is disagreement on what price such a program would come at.
“This is absurdly expensive and this will cause a huge amount of tax increases,” explained Public Accountant, John Fullerton, “This is a financially irresponsible measure.”
In contrast, David Cobb of the North Coast People’s Alliance argued, “It costs less money to create a universal healthcare model than the patchwork system that we have now. We will save hundreds of millions of dollars in California with this system.”
In the past, this bill has made it to California’s State Assembly and Senate, but was not approved.
Now, citizens are trying once again to push it through.
“We have a bill that has been put on the shelf to die,” said Donahue, “We are asking that be amended because people need access to healthcare.”
Ralliers then headed inside the courthouse to attend the supervisors’ meeting to try to convince them to write a resolution in support of the bill.
“We are having this to let assembly member Wood and the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors know that this is an issue that we are going to be voting on in upcoming elections,” added Cobb.
Inside, about a dozen people came up to the podium to share their personal reasoning for why Humboldt Supervisors should write a resolution in support of the act.
“Maybe healthcare would be better if this passed, but at what cost to the economy?” questioned Fullerton.
“My partner does not have health insurance at all because we can’t afford it,” explained Cobb, “So this is a moral and ethical fight for all of us, and for me it’s a very personal one.”
Because the Healthy California Act topic was not on the formal agenda, supervisors could only hear public comments and no action could be taken.
There is no word yet on if the supervisors will make a resolution in support of the bill, which we will continue to follow.